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Local Photographer to be featured in ISU exhibit

                  By Joy Dell Commack
            Featured this week is local photographer Jeri Ahrendt of Arco. Jeri has been invited to show her work at Transition Gallery in the ISU Student Building in Pocatello from February 3 to the 14.
 A catered open house will be held At the Gallery from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.; The night of February 3. Jeri will be displaying approximately 25 framed Prints ranging in size from 8x 10 to 20x 30. Jeri is the only photographer featured in the show. We in Arco are so pleased to see a hard working Artist appreciated by others.
            Jeri is the mother of two teen age boys, Nick and Brandon. Her parents are; Doug Ahrendt and step father Rich Holbert and Sheryl, Davis, Snyder (deceased). Jeri’s grandfather, Al Roessner, is a long time Arco resident and strong supporter of his Granddaughters talent.
           Nature provides us with the most beautiful artwork in the world. A photographer does his or her best to record that moment in time on film, for it will never be the same again. A good photographer is always ready, loaded camera at hand.  
            Jeri Arhendt is such a photographer. And, as she says in her slogan for her business; Simply You Photography, nature is her studio. Jeri watches the skies and weather conditions, knowing what will provide certain lighting and effects she will pack up her dogs and take off for a late afternoon of photo shooting, wondering off to find fields of flowers, interesting rock formations, and bubbling streams.
   Jeri is good. Her eye catches the perfect piece, and she knows how to get the right angles for an interesting shot.  Sometimes it requires hanging over a bridge or a log on a creek bank. Sometimes it takes climbing on top of her vehicle. Or sometimes it means lying flat on the ground. Other times it just requires patience, waiting as the sky changes colors as the sun prepares to set. And she knows to take advantage of those unexpected moments when a wild creature wanders into the scene.
          Of course, not everything works. All of us who have taken our trusty cameras and gone on a picture taking venture know that there are the pictures that are just plain nothing, the pretty good ones, and those that catch your eye time after time as you go through your finished prints. So what makes the difference? It’s the combination of the lighting, the subject arrangement, camera angles, film speed, resolution, and clarity.  Yet fifteen good photographers could take a photo of the same subject at the same time and each would end up with an entirely different picture. The styles of an artist are as unique as each person is unique, for we all see things though different eyes. Some people are naturals, Jeri is. She has never had formal lessons in photography, but has picked up ideas and techniques along the way. Jeri now carries two cameras with her at all times. One is loaded with black and white film, the       other with color. So she is ready for anything. She will take one to three shots of the same subject, making sure that she has the shot.
       Jeri Ahrendt’s photos are eye catching. Her pictures of our Rocky Mountain scenes capture the little things. We relate to these for they are the little touches of nature that bring us sublime pleasure as we walk along a creek bank or drive down a mountain road. These are the places we choose to stop and eat our picnic lunches or just to take a little break and enjoy the beauty. Jeri has the unique ability to capture the
 little things that silently touch our hearts and souls. She sees the marvels of a sunset, the rocks to a bubbling stream, and the beauty of a single tree.
        One of Jeri’s most unique and well known photos is of the lone tree by the Lost River Bridge on Highway 20 near the rest stop outside of Arco. When asked how she happened to choose that subject Jeri said, “I was coming home and it was really foggy. I had my camera with me and saw the tree. It just looked neat.” It is neat. It’s a great photo.
       Jeri doesn't need to travel far to find an Interesting shot. The Lost River Valley has been her home. She was raised here. And this is where she finds shots of mountains, streams, sunflowers, and sagebrush. She has been doing photography for years, since her parents, Rich and Sheryl Holbert, gave her a Pentax camera for high school graduation. Rich was very helpful showing her the basics, how to set up a shot, and how to work the camera. Jeri said it was the best gift he could have given her, as photography became Jeri’s hobby and her passion. Jeri’s mother, Sheryl, encouraged Jeri through the years, as Jeri’s work became finer and finer. And, with sadness, Jeri said her good-byes to her last year, when Sheryl succumbed to bone cancer.
     Jeri has worked in the public for years. We have seen her clerking in stores, tending bar, and waiting tables. With her business, Simply Photography, she has been hired to doing wedding pictures, graduation pictures, and family photos. We can find her work all over this valley. Her hard work and persistence has paid off. Us a number of her prints are now part of the decor in a large hotel Chain in Lake Tahoe. The upcoming show at Transition Gallery is exciting for her. It has been a lot of hard work, and Jeri says, ”I want you to mention that I couldn't have done this with out the help of my Grandpa (Al Roessner).” Al is one of Jeri’s biggest supporters.
            Who knows where Jeri’s photography will take her next.  We do know that Jeri’s work is well worth seeking out, and we wish her all the luck in the world as she continues her journey in photography, doing something she truly loves.